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Armijo: We are now humans ‘being’

It has already been a few weeks and many of us are just beginning to adjust to what can be a very different world when this is all said and done. Our leaders made mistakes and some people have yet to take this pandemic as a serious threat, but none of that matters now. What matters most now is making it through this odd and trying time healthy, and in good spirits.

As we look at images from around the world, one cannot help but notice all of the positive things taking place. Communities may be practicing social distancing (it’s really physical distancing) but they are also creatively working to help those in need receive staples, do their shopping, counseling, and communicating messages of love and hope. This has truly been a situation where the masses of people have taken it upon themselves to work together for a positive outcome. It is a beautiful sight to behold.

The biggest surprise is what is happening to our amazing planet as we went from humans “doing” to humans “being.” There are satellite images of China in which the pollution that previously covered the region has dissipated. The smog over Los Angeles has been replaced by blue skies and the famously stinky canals in Venice, Italy, have cleared to the point that dolphins and other marine life have been spotted swimming through them.

Animals on the endangered species such as sea turtles have been able to hatch in record numbers on beaches in Brazil and India. We can now bear witness to the fact humans “doing” are the most destructive species to our natural environment. I am not a fanatical conservationist by any means, but I recycle and see the damage plastic has done to our environment and I fully understand the importance of preserving this planet for future generations. However, it has truly been a wake-up call to see how much damage we do every day as humans to this planet. The scary part is we are very similar to the virus that is currently threatening our bodies.

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As I walk my dog in the morning, while practicing proper social distancing, I noticed how much nicer it is to walk without hundreds of other people competing for space. The animals seem to be more active and nature seems to be taking a collective breath of fresh air as well. It almost feels as though our Mother Earth has put us all in time-out and forced us to become humans “being.”

We are forced to be with ourselves and, those who can handle it, are alone with their thoughts. This time of being allows us to connect with the person we often fear the most — ourselves. This is a good time to take inventory of ourselves and the life we have lived thus far. We should use this time for personal development and setting our path moving forward to coincide with the life we wish to live and not the one we thought was available to us. This time is a global reset which is allowing us a new course of action. This is a time to learn to work in harmony with the world around us as we are now doing with our fellow people.

The most successful people in this world practice self-reflection. People such as the Dalai Lama, Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, etc. practice self-reflection and find the parts of their life where they could most improve. It takes courage to face your deficiencies and it takes willpower to change them. However, those that can accept criticism while still finding love for themselves will always thrive. Those that cannot accept criticism and instead surround themselves with “yes” men will inevitably falter.

Allow yourself to stop and be. Schedule a mid-day meditation (yes, this can be done with kids in the home), schedule in some time to just sit under a tree, some time to just take a nap if you need one. Disconnect from technology and the outside world for a little bit while you just be. The Buddhists teach that enlightenment comes from within. Maybe when this is all over we will seek everlasting enlightenment instead of the almighty dollar.

In the meantime, let’s continue to find all of the ways we can help our friends and neighbors. Sometimes a quick phone call to someone who is quarantined alone is all it takes. “How can we be of service” should be our mantra throughout this time of uncertainty and hopefully this will carry over for long after this is over. To all of you, stay safe, happy, and healthy.


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